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ResourcesCorporate and Tax AdvisoryThailand Corporate LawReopening for Business in Thailand: Phase 1

Reopening for Business in Thailand: Phase 1

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the reopening of Bangkok and greater Thailand in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis that we have had here and the spread. 

As those who are watching this are probably aware, we have now come to a point where Coronavirus cases are being tabulated quite low and it is my understanding we have been in single digits for multiple days at this point. The "flattening of the curve" initiative seems to have been successful and things are in the process of reopening. 

In a recent article from the Bangkok Post, that is bangkokpost.com, the article is titled: Lock Down to Ease Sunday. We are making this video on May, 1st. Sunday May 3rd is when according to the decrees that have been promulgated, these easing of restrictions will commence for lack of a better term. Quoting directly: "The first stage of the easing COVID-19 curbs will take effect nationwide on Sunday and it will take 14 days to assess whether or not the next stages including the reopening of department stores can proceed."  

So for those who are unaware, this first phase, I believe it is called the white phase. It is white, green, yellow, orange, red I believe are the phases. This white phase is going to be phase 1. They are going to assess and then they are going to have a reassessment and look to phase 2 of opening further things. In this first easing, quoting further: "Details of places which will be allowed to reopen in provinces nationwide on Sunday when restrictions under the emergency decree will be relaxed. Similar relaxations in Bangkok will also take effect on Sunday. So first is fresh markets, flea markets, floating markets, community markets, walking streets, roadside stalls, small food and beverage, dessert and ice cream shops outside department stores. Customers must be seated apart."  So this is small eateries and I am presuming they have got to have some kind of licensure if they are indoors; a restaurant license type of thing but it is small eateries and they are very clear about the fact that they can't be inside malls and they can't be inside department stores. Again the policy thrust here seems to be aimed at keeping large gatherings from taking place; so keeping clusters from forming to spread the virus further. It is notable that again this is not in malls, not in department stores. It is only sort of small mom-and-pop shops, mom-and-pop kind of eateries. It should be noted and we will get into this in a moment, that there are certain criteria which still are going to be imposed in order to lessen the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission. “Other things that are going to be open are supermarkets, eating areas in convenience stores, vehicles hawking goods, small retail outlets, community retail outlets, retail outlets selling telecom and telecommunication devices, exercise, so public parks for example but no team sports; so things that allow for social distancing for lack of better term. Barbers and hairdressers can provide only cutting, washing and drying services, pet grooming and pet boarding shops.  So kind of a restricted list but it is definitely a good sign; things are reopening. There remains an alcohol ban in place presumably for the month of May. We are going to make another video contemporaneously with this one to go ahead and talk about the alcohol ban in further detail. 

Again to quote just one more thing again from that Bangkok Post article: Quoting directly: "Dr. Taweesilp, and that is the person that is heading up the Coronavirus task force if you will, said while the activities were allowed, operators had to implement disease control measures such as cleaning, use of face masks for everyone, distancing  and hand sanitation."  So again you know whereas you may have a small restaurant or cafe that will allow people to be able to sit down and perhaps have a coffee, they are going to have distancing rules that have to be maintained and that looks like that is going to be in place at least for the forthcoming few weeks until this overarching issue has abated.